Brinkmann Tonearm 12.1"

BR 11 TA TARM12
NZ$ 8,995.00 ea (incl. GST)
Brinkmann

Considered some of the world’s finest turntables out of Germany

New

 

To complement his earlier tables, Mr. Brinkmann chose the Breuer tonearm. Rarely seen stateside, the Breuer enjoys a legendary status that is nowadays also enjoyed by Frank Schroeder's Reference arm. Both the Breuer and the Schroeder arms are handmade works of art. Among analog aficionados with a more global perspective, Schroeder and Breuer occupy an exalted status that we more provincial types here in the States tend to confer on Graham and Triplanar.

And just as those who prefer either the Graham or Triplanar approach are unlikely to be moved by the other, those who are drawn to either the Breuer or Schroeder arm are not likely to admire the other. So it is in audio; so it has always been. Ecumenicalism is not a concept that has much traction in audio. My reference turntable is fitted with a 12" arm that would never be endorsed by those who favor the Schroeder approach; but then again my other table employs the Well Tempered arm that is the most important historical antecedent to Schroeder's. I tend to adopt the very out-of-date approach of listening to how the arm sounds instead of arguing a priori from theory to evaluative conclusion!

Supply of the Breuer did not keep up with demand and in time, Mr. Brinkmann determined that however much he admired the Breuer arm, he needed to design and build his own. The net effect is the Brinkmann 10.5, which unsurprisingly resembles the Breuer. It is also one hell of a fine arm. It is elegant, easy to set up and use. Adjustments to VTA, HTA, azimuth and tracking force are easily performed and once optimized, stable over the long term.

The Brinkmann arm is a fixed bearing. The ideal for those who adopt the fixed bearing approach is to eliminate any play in the arm. If the tonearm moves too much in response to the energy traveling from the groove through the arm, the arm will ultimately lose its stability and be unable to adequately track the record and reproduce the music accurately. No play may be the ideal but it is of course impossible to secure in practice. The fact that the ideal cannot be realized in practice has led other designers to abandon the pursuit and adopt a unipivot approach (e.g. Graham) or variations (SME's knife bearing; Schroeder's magnetic rejection; Well Tempered's strung paddle in silicon 'goop').

Rather than abandon the fixed-bearing 'no play' ideal, Brinkmann, like Breuer, employs extremely small precision self-aligning ball bearings machined to very tight tolerances in Switzerland which enable the arm to approximate the fixed bearing ideal while allowing the arm to move with the least possible friction. The net effect of this approach is realized in great tracking and explosive dynamics.

The Brinkmann arm is medium compliant and works extremely well with a broad range of cartridges. The Balance I reviewed came fitted with the recommended Brinkmann modified EMT. I am a huge fan of cartridges from the Ortofon SPU and EMT families. My reference cartridges are a Shindo modified SPU classic, a Denon 103 and the Roksan Shiraz. The latter is a modified EMT. Einstein (also of Germany) as well as Brinkmann modify EMTs. It is worth noting that van den Hul cartridges began life as modified EMTs as well. The Brinkmann modifications are designed to control resonance and in doing so, to increase clarity and extension beyond the original.

 

The »10.5« is considered one of the best tonearms in the world and is used as a reference (and highly recommended) by magazines and reviewers alike throughout the world. The »10.5« is a true allaround tonearm. With a dynamic mass of 12 grams, it works well with any modern cartridge; and with 10.5'' length, it is still short enough for most turntables designed for 9-inch arms, yet also long enough for 12-inch arm bases. For optimum resonance control and high torsional stability, the »10.5« is made from aluminum and stainless steel; a high tech synthetic material is also used. For the same reasons, the headshell is nondetachable and the surface of the arm tube has also been treated with special anodizing. A double gimballed suspension, with precision ball bearings free of play, ensures precise and frictionless tracking. The vertical downforce and the dynamic mass can be adjusted over a wide range thanks to the split collar counterweight. Skating is compensated for without any contact by magnetic force. (Too bad you actually will hardly ever notice any of these efforts. Because simply put, the better a tone arm works, the more you'll hear what has been cut into the vinyl: music!)    

Art Dudley - Stereophile (USA)
"If you're interested in adding a clean, accurate phono cartridge to your collection of same, but you'd like just a little more warmth and gushiness than the average these days, consider an EMT. If you want all that and more—even more texture, humanity, flow, and noiselessness in the groove—consider a Brinkmann EMT: That's what the Titanium appears to be all about, and that's why I think it's a wonderful thing."

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Jules Coleman wrote in 6moons:

It is elegant, easy to set up and use. Adjustments to VTA, HTA, azimuth and tracking force are easily performed and once optimized, stable over the long term.

The Brinkmann arm is a fixed bearing. The ideal for those who adopt the fixed bearing approach is to eliminate any play in the arm. If the tonearm moves too much in response to the energy traveling from the groove through the arm, the arm will ultimately lose its stability and be unable to adequately track the record and reproduce the music accurately. No play may be the ideal but it is of course impossible to secure in practice. The fact that the ideal cannot be realized in practice has led other designers to abandon the pursuit and adopt a unipivot approach (e.g. Graham) or variations (SME's knife bearing; Schroeder's magnetic rejection; Well Tempered's strung paddle in silicon 'goop').

Rather than abandon the fixed-bearing 'no play' ideal, Brinkmann, like Breuer, employs extremely small precision self-aligning ball bearings machined to very tight tolerances in Switzerland which enable the arm to approximate the fixed bearing ideal while allowing the arm to move with the least possible friction. The net effect of this approach is realized in great tracking and explosive dynamics.